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Thread: Filtabyte Ethernet for S-100

  1. #1
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    Dec 2011
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    Default Filtabyte Ethernet for S-100

    An interesting S-100 board came up for auction:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-2-Vin...kAAOSwNm5Zqbju

    this board is said to be an Ethernet board for the S-100 (based on a google search). Anyone out there know more about it? I'd like to know how it worked, anyone have a manual? I already contacted the seller, he's got no info about it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Interesting, I've seen a couple other Ethernet and ARCNET boards for S-100, but not this one. You might email Herb Johnson ( retrotechnology.com ) and see if he has info that's not listed on his site.

  3. #3

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    Indeed, I was contacted on this by "castle". I don't have any info or docs on the board-pair. Pure speculation on my part, for comment, as follows: 1) I don't see any "networking" interface hardware on the board, or any network controller chip. 2) you would need TCP/IP support software to manage every packet - on a Z80 at 4Mhz? could have performance issues. 3) no hardware docs for two complex boards.

    Herb
    retrotechnology.com

  4. #4
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    I found just a little more info:

    *L.R.T. stands for Logic Replacement Techlologies and was absorbed into the Sintrom group in 1988.


    "Ethernet for CP/M Ethernet for CP/M users has been introduced by Sintrom. The package consists of the hardware to make an Ethernet link between S100-based CP/M microcomputers with a suite of file transfer programs. The hardware is a set of Ethernet controller cards, connectors, transceivers and cables. The software gives one of the computers 'file server' status and makes it work as a clear- ing house allowing CP/M files to be transferred between stations. Each station is assigned a name which is translated into an Ethernet address via a look-up table."

    The setup was Ethernet 1.0 compliant, the original standard developed by DEC, Intel, and Xerox. Certainly not TCP/IP, still a very interesting example of early networking.

  5. #5

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    I worked at unisoft back when we did the unix for cromemco and dual.

    the LRT board set was very capable of running 10mbit ethernet, and had either a 16k or 64k packet buffer and did automatic retransmission on collision, and automatic mac address recognition. I saw the driver source and the manual at one point.
    if I remember correctly, it used an AUI connection so getting it to do 10baseT will be through a media translator.

    the unix, at least the cromemco version on the XXU, was a full-blown virtual svr2 with TCP/IP with all the bells and whistles.

    I've bid on the board, I'll see if I can cobble together a driver.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenxyzzy View Post
    I worked at unisoft back when we did the unix for cromemco and dual.

    the LRT board set was very capable of running 10mbit ethernet, and had either a 16k or 64k packet buffer and did automatic retransmission on collision, and automatic mac address recognition. I saw the driver source and the manual at one point.
    if I remember correctly, it used an AUI connection so getting it to do 10baseT will be through a media translator.

    the unix, at least the cromemco version on the XXU, was a full-blown virtual svr2 with TCP/IP with all the bells and whistles.

    I've bid on the board, I'll see if I can cobble together a driver.
    Hooray! someone who's seen this board before, I hope you win the auction! Would be nice to see it in action again, please post back if you successfully win and get somewhere with it. I found one more article relating to Filtabyte in Software & Microsystems June 1983:

    "Filtabyte 3 is a simple to implement low cost controller consisting of the hardware needed to establish an Ethernet connection between Multibus based microcomputers, and a suite of software programs which allo file transfer between them.
    It is a high performance system, with a standard 64 Kbytes of bus addressable RAM for buffering to minimize processing overheads on the local workstation. Filtabyte 3 drivers for systems other than CP/M and TurboDOS are available from Sintrom."

    I've already got a modern Ethernet add-on for my S-100 system with TCP/IP, but it would be cool to run an original like the Filtabyte.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Zenxyzzy: Did you manage to snag that board pair? Make any headway in reverse engineering it, perchance?

    All: Wishing you and your families a great Thanksgiving!

    -----
    paul

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